How useful is a sleep monitor really?

I get decent sleep most nights, but there’s always at least 1 or 2 days of the week where I can’t get to sleep and feel exhausted the next day.

I was using the Jawbone UP to track my sleep, but I haven’t been getting much out of it to understand why I’m randomly getting crappy sleep 2 nights a week.

What are your experiences with sleep monitors? Are there any you would recommend?

Are you guys using this differently or in a specific way that makes it more useful?

Tracking is fairly easy using the zeo bedside and it appears reasonably accurate. Your local library probably has several books that will help you do things to improve your sleep. Two that I like are “Chronotherapy” by Michael Terman and Ian McMahan, and “The secret World of Sleep” by Penelope A. Lewis. One simple lifestyle change that really helps is to avoid bright lights for about an hour or so before going to bed. We have installed adjustable dimmers on all of our bedroom and bathroom lights. In addition, I use a red led flashlight if I need to go to the bathroom during the night.

It’s crazy! We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and yet we know very little about how to manage or control the process.

Good luck.

The sleep data from the Jawbone UP won’t necessarily tell you why you don’t sleep well some nights, but does it at least reflect how well you sleep?

Important question.

I’ve done sleep studies, and my doctor (pulmonary – lungs) said sleep gadgets are fine for initial detection of sleep problems, but because they don’t measure air intake, the way a continuous pressure (CPAP) device will, you get half the story: they (sleep gadgets) measure quantity of sleep, but not necessarily quality.

Although my thought is – for the gadgets that measure motion and restlessness, isn’t that indicative of an issue?
I guess he would say that they still wouldn’t tell you about oxygen intake, so they’re inadequate.

Zeo does reasonably measure sleep quality (deep, REM, light, and wake) as well as time to get to sleep. Zeo cannot function as accurately as a sleep study (with 14 sensors attached to your head), but its accurate enough for most uses and far easier and cheaper. You can also measure your oxygen levels and heart rate with an inexpensive oxygen meter you wear during the night. When you put the output of these devices together (matching time lines) you can compare your sleep states with oxygen levels and heart rates. What is handy about this home study approach is you can change things that impact your sleep (lighting, coffee, activities before bed, etc.) and see if they change anything. It’s inexpensive and convenient, and it has potential to improve the quality of life. Good night.